Friday, November 8, 2013

Why Did Grandma Put Her Underwear in the Refrigerator? by Max Wallack and Carolyn Given

Why Did Grandma Put Her Underwear in the Refrigerator? An Explanation of Alzheimer's for Children by Max Wallack and Carolyn Given
Puzzles to Remember Inc
ISBN: 978-1489501677
Published June 29, 2013
Softcover, 40 pages

If it's not the title that strikes you then it will be the fact that this book is written especially for children to help them understand Alzheimer's disease because the reality is that more and more young children and teens today are becoming caregivers.

I first discovered this book while doing research for literature related to Alzheimer's and dementia. I work with seniors who have this disease. I contacted Max Wallack who graciously consented to send a copy for me to review and to donate to our Day Programs library at work. It is an excellent book that I will highly recommend to all families who have children that deal with a relative who has Alzheimer's.

Julie is a seven year-old girl who lives with her parents and grandmother. Julie loves her grandmother and they do many activities together, like shopping and playing games. But then her grandma starts forgetting things which makes her upset, and she starts to behave oddly. Julie's parents take the time to explain to Julie that her grandma has Alzheimer's and what this means. The story continues with Julie's experiences with her grandma and how she feels about some of the things that happen with her grandma. This is what makes the book brilliant. Through Julies's eyes we get to understand about an illness that is emotionally difficult, the effects it has on a child, and how to best deal with it.

I read this book with my 9 year-old son who I could see paid rapt attention to the story. He told me it helped him understand more about Alzheimer's although he said he knew some of the things because of the time he volunteered in my Day Programs and from what I tell him about my work. We both felt that this book deals very well with situations that are important for children. It is a reassuring book that will help a child better understand the conflicting emotions, such as frustration, fear and anger that a child can experience when a member of the family has Alzheimer's. This is a beautiful book that accomplishes the explaining of a complex disease in a simple (but not simplistic) manner. It's a book from which all can benefit, adults included.

I highly recommend this book to all parents to help foster a generation of youths who are compassionate and educated about a disease that is striking more and more seniors and consequently will touch the lives of more and more children.

Please note that fifty percent of this book's proceeds supports Alzheimer's research and the care of Alzheimer's patients. I was so impressed by Max Wallack who is only 17 and has already done so much to help individuals with Alzheimer's.

Please stop by on Monday to read my interview with him and for a chance to win a copy of this insightful book!

Note: This book is rated C = clean read.
To read more reviews, please visit: Alzheimer's Speaks Blog,, Alzheimer's Reading Room, Memory Memos, Moving in With Dementia

About the authors:
Max Wallack is a 17 year old junior at Boston University, as well as a researcher in the Molecular Psychiatry in Aging Laboratory at Boston University School of Medicine. Max was a caregiver to his great grandmother who had Alzheimer’s Disease, and, in 2008, he founded, a 501(C)3 organization that has supplied over 23,000 puzzles to Alzheimer’s facilities around the world. A member of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, Max gives research presentations at national conferences and publishes articles about his work in scientific journals. Max plans to become a geriatric psychiatrist, working with Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers.

Carolyn Smith Given is a mother of four, a caregiver, and a resident of the Blackstone Valley in Massachusetts. Since 2000, she has taught English Language Arts and Literature at both middle and high school levels, and currently performs medical research to support her husband's multiple myeloma therapies. For fun, she attends her children's weddings, invents gourmet vegan entrees, maintains a humor blog with more than 80 first person narrative vignettes -- all true – at She enjoys any and all writing projects that come her way.

Reviewed by Laura & Son

Disclosure: Thanks to the author for sending us this book for review. We were not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

Every Saturday, Booking Mama hosts a feature called Kid Konnection—a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, visit Booking Mama.

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